The Importance of Certification
Whether you choose a career as a court interpreter or a medical interpreter, it is important to become certified. Certification provides professional legitimacy and the ability to earn higher wages.
A recommended strategy is to become medically certified halfway through the program in order to gain experience and start earning wages as you continue with your training for the court interpreter exam.
With our free Medical Interpretation course, you can prepare for work as a medical interpreter. This optional online course prepares students to take the NBCMI Medical Interpreter Certificate Exam. The free Medical Interpretation course has three prerequisites: MLL 400, MLL 401 and MLL 403.
- Salary: In California, medical interpreting salaries range from approximately $45,000 to $70,000.
- Difficulty: The medical interpreter oral exam of the NBCMI tests for sight translation (English-to-Spanish) and for consecutive interpretation. It is less difficult than the court certification exam.
- Role: The role of the medical interpreter goes beyond accurate and complete interpretation. A medical interpreter may be a patient advocate and intercultural mediator.
- Certification Exam: There are several requirements to take the NBCMI medical interpreter written and oral exams, among them proof of oral proficiency in both languages and medical interpreter education. The total cost of the exams is $450.
- Careers: Explore Medical Interpreter Careers
- Learn More: Medical Interpretation Course
The SF State online Spanish/English Interpretation program is designed to prepare students to pass the California Court Bilingual Interpreter Exam and the National Center for State Courts (Consortium) Exam.
- Cost: Approximately $3,782 (including texts)
- Length: 15 - 22 months
- Salary: In California, court interpreting salaries range from approximately $76,000 to $92,000.
- Difficulty: The court interpreter oral exam tests for sight translation (English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English), consecutive interpretation, and simultaneous interpretation. The court interpreter oral exam is more difficult than the medical interpreter oral exam.
- Role: The role of the court interpreter is limited to accurate and complete interpretation. A court interpreter must never be an advocate or an intercultural mediator.
- Certification Exam: There are no requirements to take the court interpreter written and oral exams. The total cost of the exams is $340.
- Careers: See Legal/Court Interpretation Careers
- Learn More: Court Interpretation
Cost and Length
Cost: $1,991 (including texts) | Length: 12 - 20 Months | When to Start: Fall, Spring, Summer
Legal and Court Interpretation
Cost: $3,782 (including texts) | Length: 15 - 22 Months | When to Start: Fall, Spring, Summer